How To Sell Your Company To Candidates
Obviously, you love your company. You’re its biggest advocate and you can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to work there. (If you don’t feel like that then maybe you’re in the wrong job…).
However good your company is, it’s still a candidate-led market out there. The people you’re interviewing are also interviewing in lots of other companies with great stories and benefits.
Interviews are no longer about a candidate selling themselves to you; more often that not, you and the company are the ones being judged. So how do you sell your company and bag the candidate?
Work with Maslow
Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Bet you never thought you’d use it past GCSE Business Studies. However, it is really useful to think about when talking to candidates.
It’s usually pretty easy to tell where someone sits, although you can ask them (a good double whammy interview question). Once you’ve ascertained where they are, you can pitch your company appropriately. Someone in the ‘Safety’ stage isn’t going to be swayed by how often you go go-karting, while someone in ‘Esteem’ isn’t going to excited by how nice the rest of the team is.
There are three main factors that drive a job hunter: Money, Happiness and Career Progression. Maslow will help you know which of these to emphasise.
There’s no getting past money. No matter how much you love your job you probably wouldn’t do it for free. But for some it’s not the most important thing. Someone who felt isolated in their last job may take a pay cut to go somewhere where they fit in with the culture and could feel happy. Conversely, someone looking for a step up is only really going to be caring about their extra responsibilities and the package that goes with it.
You will quickly get a sense from a candidate of how important money is. If you think you can’t meet their expectations, it’s probably better to save both your time and end the process there. However, if you know this person is going to drive the business forwards it’s worth knowing that you’re going to have to pull out some more budget.
When getting wrapped up in negotiations about money it is easy for candidates to forget that their new job is where they’re going to be spending most of their time. For junior and mid-level candidates, who are realistically going to be paid more or less the same wherever they go, this is where you can win (or lose…).
Does your office have a thriving social scene? Is there somewhere nice nearby to sit out on the grass of a lunchtime? Do you offer flexible working hours or working from home opportunities so they can cut out a nasty commute? And perhaps most crucially, what staff discount do you offer?
These are all the things that will factor in to a candidate’s decision. Obviously different people want different things: a suit-loving corporate type might not fancy the idea of pyjama day. But they wouldn’t be right for the business anyway. Your culture is your biggest selling point, and also helps to find those perfect matches.
So you’ve offered them a great package and it turns out they’re already amazing at ping pong. But are they going to be stuck in the same job for five years? Digital people are fast movers, always looking to follow the trends and create opportunities. If your business can’t offer a quickly climbable structure you may miss out.
This is key to snaring people in ‘Esteem’. If they’re confident enough to join a team they’ll be looking for ways to progress their career towards self-actualisation.
Make sure that you have clued yourself up on potential opportunities in the business. Perhaps a performance-based promotion can be written into their contract, or you can offer training opportunities if a promotion won’t come along quickly. If you’re not a big brand they may also be thinking about what having your business on their CV will look like in the future; clue them in on your growth plans or emphasise that the practical experience will be beneficial.
Of course candidates look at lots of things when they’re choosing a job. How well did they get on with the line manager, how long is it door to door, what will their friends think? But if you start with Maslow you can address their key needs.